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A Perfect Mess

I want to read this book. It may be a strong support for how I "organize" my study room... (and my desks... and my bedroom... and my closet... and my bookcases... everything...)

The authors argue that when you add up all the time you might spend cleaning up your office, that the actual time savings gained in finding things later falls short of the total time you spent cleaning. In other words, that there is no savings in time by being tidy. Furthermore they make a case for messiness as an all-important catalyst for being creative.


Flying utterly in the face of conventional wisdom, the authors turn the world of organization on its head to examine how messy systems can be more effective than highly organized ones. Neatness for its own sake, they say, not only has hidden costs in terms of man-hours that could be spent doing other work but it turns out that the highly touted advantages may not even exist. More loosely defined, moderately disorganized people and businesses seem to be more efficient, more robust, and more creative than the obsessively neat. As examples, the authors cite a hardware store crammed to the gills with every sort of product in seemingly disorganized fashion that does twice the business of the "neat" one down the block; a grade school where the students are allowed random access to learning materials with no structured lessons, and no discipline problems; and the seemingly chaotic life of Arnold Schwarzenegger, who refuses to make appointments and sees everyone on the fly. The chronically messy will revel in the anecdotes but may need to skip the terminology.

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True story: when I first met my wife, I visited her house where she lived with her parents. It was a messy house. And... I felt great comfort in seeing that. We got married and now our house is messy... but I also think we're reasonably organized at the same time.

I successfully trained my wife to accept being messy by having 2 boys, ha ha!

Post a Comment
  • 正如林一峰話齋,閱讀,也是一種 state of mind。
  • 所以不限文字,還有聲音影像一切雜崩能東西,都在涉獵反思消化乾坤大挪移之列。
  • 看重的只有一個字:Insight


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